Sunday, September 23, 2007

V/A-U.S. of Oi! Download

This comp was released in 1993 on Link Records, and is still probably the definitive American Oi compilation. It's got almost all of the classic bands, from the Anti Heros ("Hate Edge" is probably the most easily recognizable US Oi! song from the era), YDL, the Uprise, and the opening track is a stripped down version of Warzone's now legendary "Don't Forget the Struggle".

It's not all amazing. The duds are still here. The Boot Boys "American Heritage" is like something that Nancy Reagan would've written as propaganda for school-age kids to a watered down punk back beat. The Kicker Boys "Sitar (I Hate Hippies)" is almost unlistenable, although "I Got a Handgun", their other contribution on this disc is one of those punk anthems that's so bad it reaches some higher form of clever art that makes it infectious.

While some people disregard American Oi as just ripping off the lower forms of the early British incarnation (which I have to admit is valid to an extent), I just don't see how you can pass off the Uprise or YDL tracks as anything less than great.

I don't really know about the politics of Youth Defense League (the spelling on this record actually lists them as "Youth Defence League", which is wrong), nor do I really care to pick apart some elaborate mythology of the band before I'll admit I like them or not. I know there have been several accusations against them about whether or not they're racist and/or right-wing extremists, but I don't know of any songs that actually state any politics of that kind, and I would assume that since they associated with bands who had a zero tolerance policy on racist skins (Agnostic Front, Gorilla Biscuits), I doubt it. The song "Skinheads 88" that appears on this record is actually a reference to the year (the song was originally released on the American Pride 7" in 1989, recorded in 1988), and was a response to the skinhead "purists" who harped on the "Spirit of 69" aesthetic.

There are bonus tracks on this that are exclusive to the CD version, which was pressed by Step-1, a British anti racist label. The Grievance Committee tracks listed as part of the "Bonus" are phenomenal, and I can't understand why they were omitted from the vinyl version. I know they released an EP in the Mid-80s, but I've never heard it.

Download U.S. of Oi!

(NOTE: I uploaded this onto mediafire instead of bigfilehost. It's a little easier to work with the download, so I hope it works out. Let me know what you think!)

This CD is still available from Amazon. It's a bit pricy, but if you like it, you should check it out.


Anonymous said...

I can't say if the youth defence league songs are racist or extremist, because after I read the following interview, I never wanted to listen to their music. this is from Schism fanzine #8, published in 1988:

"well, we lean toward the right. we're a nationalist band, we're a white pride band, we have that as well".

"people complain about nazi germany, stalin killed 30 million people. what hitler did is nothing compared to that".

"skrewdriver is a little more right than us. but we agree with a lot of the things they stand for".

and when Schism asked them : "are you guys white power?" : "no, we're white pride. we're proud of our race, our culture".

and the best, with this question : "nick, what do you think of black people in england? do you go along with skrewdriver, saying they should "get out"?", nick answered: "to a certain extend I do. england has been a white country for 900 years."
before that, the "nick" in question told that he was born in england, then lived in italy, before to defend "our country", the usa...

I'm french, I love rock n roll, the usa, and oi! music (and even american oi!, vive les templars), but this is a little to much, don't you think?

Ian EBH said...

I've heard reference to that interview, but never actually read it, as no one has ever told me where it was actually published. That does change things, but I still wonder about misquotes/blowing things out of proportion/etc. As I mentioned, Agnostic Front was extremely anti racist in the 80s, yet they were openly friends with YDL, so where was the line drawn?

On the same line of thinking, the Templars and Oxblood (who I love) have been bashed in the US for covering Skrewdriver in their sets (APA, which features one of the non-white members of the Templars, covered "We Don't Pose" EVERY TIME I saw them), but to call them racist is ridiculous, the Templars are 2/3 black and the singer for Oxblood is black. I understand there is a massive difference between saying "I listen to Skrewdriver" and saying "We agree with a lot of the things they say", but I think a lot of political publications will switch things around to fit their own views and accusations, whether right or left.

I'm gonna' check out that zine and try to get it so I can read the full article. Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

not only the zine could have misquoted the band, but I admit that I picked only the sentences that shoked me.

I agree that not every skrewdriver listener is a nazi. I have the "all skrewed up" album and I think it could be seen as one of the best records from this period if the band never recorded anything else.

and of course, to consider the templars a racist band is really stupid.

FredCore said...

I've heard "things" about YDL, but I've never really seen anything confirmed. I still believe that the music rocks. Great post!

Anonymous said...


I appreciate this compilation a lot. Thx for sharing it.

I do have a question though, there is a song I been listening to on youtube, but I can't figure out who sings it. Could you help ? It's an oi band. Here is the link to the video/song.


CactusBodyslam said...

I think this clears up any confusion

CactusBodyslam said...

I think this clears up any confusion

Spartacus Hermeticus said...

I'm an old DC skinhead. A lot of the New York guys used to come down to hang in DC. There were strong ties between the DC Bootboys, Charm City Skinheads and the New York crews -- DMS, the Lower East Side Crew, Alleyway Crew, etc. I had always heard that they were closet white power sympathizers who were tolerated for whatever reason. Where there's smoke there's fire and there was a lot of smoke blowing from them -- Dixie flags, the triple 7 flag of South Africa, a song mysteriously titled "Skinheads 88" and SUPPOSEDLY having "nothing" to do with White Power (seriously???) and at least one interview that pretty much states what should have been glaringly obvious from all of these other clues of the first place. The thing is that back in the late 80's and early 90's, when things were even more wild in the skinhead scene (a lot more death and violence than we have today), there were certain "Non - Racist Skinheads" who had "once been White Pride" or "used to be White Power." I knew one skinhead, whose name I won't mention, who used to hang with a good number of the DC Bootboys and had a "Race Nation" tattoo on his inside arm, with a fist up. He was drunk at a show at George Mason University when he showed me and my friend Tony, whose last name I won't mention, did this "don't say anything, act cool" face from behind him toward me. So I said, "Well, whatever you're proud of is cool with me as long as you're not out fucking with people because of their race," and he went on to tell me that he was basically "White Pride" and had friends who were of all races, but he was personally "a proud white man." There was another skinhead from Charm City who had a certain tattoo on his neck based on a saying that was turned into a song by the 4 Skins -- again, whose name I won't mention but who will be obvious to those of us who know the Bootboys and CCS -- who had, according to rumor, been "White Pride" at one time. However, according to a few other skinheads that I new from CCS, he had also been involved in fights against Neo-Nazis. So who knows? As Frank Herbert would have said, "a feint within a feint within a feint..." -- MFN

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